2,349 crowdsourcing and crowdfunding sites
99designs, the San Francisco and Melbourne-based crowdsourced design marketplace, last night announced it has acquired 12designer, a Berlin-based rival site with a community of 22,000 designers. 99designs did not disclose the terms of the deal.
Last year, 99designs raised $35 million in a Series A funding round from Accel Partners, an early investor in Facebook, Spotify, Groupon, and Etsy. 12designer is 99designs’ first acquisition.
12designer will become 99designs’ European headquarters, helping support the company’s rapidly expanding pool of international talent. Germany is the platform’s top non-English market. For now, 12designer will continue to operate as a separate site.
“We believe [12designer’s] deep regional marketplace expertise and multi-lingual capabilities will prove instrumental in accelerating our delivery of truly localized world-class design services to European businesses and designers,” said 99designs CEO Patrick Llewellyn in a statement. “This acquisition enables us to build significantly on our existing momentum and resources in Europe and gives us an ideally situated base in Berlin.”
Both sites feature a similar design model, allowing their diverse communities of amateur and professional designers to compete for work. Professional designers routinely grumble that this speculative model degrades the marketplace, but 99designs counters that it fulfills a market need. Anyone complaining about the state of the design industry “is either not targeting the right customer, or not explaining the value of what [they] do well enough in order to justify that cost,” 99designs community director Jason Aiken told Crowdsourcing.org during a recent ‘From the Crowd’ podcast.
Founded in 2008, 99designs has paid out $38.5 million to its global community of 175,000 graphic and web designers to date.